Case Study: How Inverse Cramer Went From Launch to Acquisition in Under a Year
How This Unique Investment Newsletter Used beehiiv From Scale to Sale
On Jan. 9, 2023, Alts broke the news:
“We’ve acquired the Inverse Cramer Newsletter!”
This tweet took over our feeds a few weeks ago. And, it’s been ringing in our head ever since. Why?
It’s another powerful acquisition and success story built on beehiiv. But, that’s not all. The reason this acquisition stands out for us is because this particular newsletter started last year… in January 2022.
In just one year, Inverse Cramer launched, grew, and sold their newsletter.
In this beehiiv case study, we interviewed the founder of Inverse Cramer to explore the reasons why he chose beehiiv and how it impacted the acquisition of the Inverse Cramer Newsletter.
When Inverse Cramer was looking for an email newsletter platform, he needed something that he could launch quickly and easily. In order to be acquired, he understood that he needed a newsletter tool that could allow him to quickly turn his Twitter followers into engaged newsletter subscribers.
So why aren’t digital creators thinking about a potential future sale of their business?
The main reason is that they highly underestimate the true value of their digital asset. And, just like other assets–stocks, bonds, companies, and houses–your newsletter is something you can sell in exchange for cash. And, oftentimes, it means plenty of bejamins for the seller.
Case Study Highlights
Inverse Cramer: An Overview
The Inverse Cramer Newsletter is an investment newsletter that was launched in January 2022 that offers a different spin on investment advice: whatever Jim Cramer from CNBC’s Mad Money says, do the opposite.
How It Started: Accountability & Curiosity
According to Inverse Cramer founder, “I've always been super interested in the idea of financial advice and who can give it, who can't give it, and then what are the consequences of giving it. Financial advisors really can't mention stock tickers or anything specifically on social media and stuff, or else the SEC dings them.”
However, unlike financial advisors, who can get in serious trouble with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), many prominent television personalities seem to get away with it–especially those who make substantial, and often very bad, financial advice.
In Inverse Cramer’s view, “I always thought this was weird when Jim Cramer goes on TV every day and recommends to buy or sell like 20 stocks a day. And he has all these opinions. And he's had really famous calls back in the day that were really horrible. Bear Stearns, Coinbase, and all these other companies that he gave horrific advice about. And there really seemed to be no accountability or consequences. So that whole idea just stuck with me for a while.”
For Inverse Cramer's founder, he was so fascinated by the substantial amount of questionable and often outright terrible financial advice that he decided to start tracking it.
“I basically started just trying to document the absurd quantity of recommendations that he had.”
Twitter: 0 to 175,000 Followers
“One day, I don't remember his exact call, but I was basically like, all right, I need to start documenting this. Because there seems to be an inverse correlation of whatever he recommends. You should probably do the opposite.”
Eventually, the data proved his theory. So, he did what anyone with a brilliant idea and a cell phone would do: he took to Twitter.
“I started the Inverse Cramer account on Twitter. That's where most of the content is and lives. I started that in January 2022, so basically exactly a year ago. And that really started blowing up throughout the year. I think I finished last year—start to finish—with 175,000 followers.”
From Tweets to beehiiv Newsletter Blasts
When asked about the newsletter strategy, Inverse Cramer mentioned how it started with Twitter, but began to live on his newsletter.
He shared, “It had gotten really popular. And then from that, I started the Inverse Cramer newsletter, which was a weekly newsletter about Jim Cramer's picks and what he did during the week. I also summarized a lot of the tweets that I had during that week as well. So it was basically just a summary of the Twitter activity that I did for people that missed it.”
“And I sent that out weekly or biweekly, to begin with. About 7,000 people were subscribed to it [before being acquired]. So it wasn't as big as the Twitter account. And it wasn't a primary focus for me. But it was something that I had longer form material with. It was primarily just a recap of my Twitter activity.”
For Inverse Cramer, the content started heavily focused on the data. How Cramer’s recommendations were panning out over time. However, Inverse Cramer’s founder realized that his followers weren’t staying for the deep data. It wasn’t just about financial advice.
He found that the business grew so well because he was able to engage them and entertain them.“When I initially started, I was really data-oriented, right? I would heavily track his positions and like what he was recommending and the performance of those. And there was some interest in that, but primarily people really just cared about the move, and then just using that knowledge of whatever he's saying and just doing the opposite. A lot of followers in the community just really care about his activity and like what he is recommending and him contradicting himself—It's funny.”
The Challenge Inverse Cramer Overcame Leading up to Acquisition
For Inverse Cramer’s founder, his main challenge to overcome was finding newsletter software that could be set up quickly, made it easy to stay on brand, and incorporated easy user engagement in order to be acquired.
Challenge: Turn Newsletter Into Viable Business To Attract an Acquisition
For Inverse Cramer, his content strategy started on Twitter, but he realized there was room to grow his business by diving into email. He saw the opportunity in launching an email newsletter, especially as a digital asset he could launch, grow, and sell to turn a profit.
However, the main challenge he saw with newsletter platforms was that they can often be difficult to start, confusing to manage, and take a ton of time from other business activities.
Here’s how beehiiv helped him overcome these challenges:
Quick, Guided Setup
With beehiiv, it’s easier than ever to launch a newsletter—and in record time. With beehiiv’s guided setup, you can set up your account and begin publishing content all within the same day. This is perfect if you’re short on time and want to fast-track your time-to-market.
Easy to Manage
beehiiv's platform is simple. From your dashboard, you get a simple overview of your newsletter performance, including subscriber count, open rate, click rate—showing you exactly how each metric has grown over the past 30 days. From your sidebar, you can find several options: Write, Grow, Audience, or Analyze to set yourself up for success. It’s a simple dashboard you can navigate, even if you’re not tech-savvy. This was especially important for Inverse Cramer when it came to building and growing his list.
Inverse Cramer’s view was that ”beehiiv was the easiest and quickest way to capture emails and send emails that I found.”
For a full tour of the beehiiv platform, check out this platform walkthrough video here.
Seamless Branded Templates
With beehiiv, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you create another newsletter. Instead, the platform allows you to easily save your newsletters as templates so you can streamline your design and your workflow with a plug-and-play option. When you’re writing a new draft, simply pick your desired template and fill in the blanks to save time.
“The templates were really helpful. I had the newsletter organized by day of the week—and had quick summaries under each day of the week. I didn't have to sit down and write a two or three-hour post. I could just plug and play from stuff that I've already created during the week, which was super helpful.”
Results with beehiv
Since launching his newsletter on beehiiv, Inverse Cramer has seen great results. Open rates are above 50%, click-through rates are at 7%, he’s seeing great deliverability. Plus, the newsletter grew to 7,000 subscribers in under a year. But, to top it all off, his favorite result was when he cashed in on Alts’ successful acquisition of the Inverse Cramer newsletter.
In terms of the ROI of using beehiiv, Inverse Cramer founder mentioned, “I think it was the time savings using the templates, the drag and drop type stuff, which allowed me to save time. If I don't have the templating ability, or just like, the ability to embed my tweets, I probably A: never send an email, or B: have to hire somebody to do it for me.”
“That's a pretty strong ROI to begin with. And secondly, if I just didn't collect emails and I didn't send emails, the acquisition wouldn't have happened. Because a big driver of the acquisition was the really strong open rate that I had and the engagement of the readers, the deliverability, and just the ease of the [beehiiv] platform definitely helped with that.
Favorite beehiiv Features
beehiiv’s Ease of Use
Unlike other newsletter platforms, beehiiv was created by creators. The product development team understood that if more creators were to join the newsletter space, they had to make it easy to start and grow a newsletter.
For Inverse Cramer, a key feature of beehiiv is just how easy it is to use. In his view, “I just thought beehiiv was the easiest way. Get up and running relative to Substack or something where I didn't want to make it a super big deal. I just wanted to get up and running.”
beehiiv’s Design Customization
One hurdle to creating a successful newsletter is making it unique from the rest. When it comes to the design of your newsletter, it can be a challenge, especially if you don’t know how to code. But, with beehiiv, you can customize your newsletter to make it your own. This means your design, your branding, and your overall aesthetics can be one of a kind.
Customizations and design tweaks can be done with the beehiiv editor in seconds. And maintaining that consistency within templates is easier than ever.
Inverse Cramer shared, “I just wanted to get up and running. Using the creative templates to match my theme on Twitter was really big for me. beehiiv made it really easy to copy and paste my type of formatting and my branding from my Twitter onto a newsletter. I heard of Substack and MailChimp, but for me, beehiiv was the best because I could match the branding and visual aspects of my Twitter.”
beehiiv’s 3D Analytics
When seeking to drive rapid growth, a key component is understanding where your traffic is already coming from so you can lean into it. With beehiiv, you can track exactly where subscribers come from with beehiiv’s 3D analytics so you can optimize your growth strategy.
For Inverse Cramer, he was able to see which channels were driving his list growth. In his case, he saw the majority of his subscribers were coming through Twitter which allowed him to double down on his Twitter strategy and continue to use his following to amplify his newsletter.
beehiiv’s Ad Network
The Ad Network is a new platform on beehiiv that lets publishers and creators easily monetize their newsletters. beehiiv’s Ad Network gives newsletter creators access to sponsored ad opportunities, who can choose to either accept or decline placements. Plus, brands can now advertise directly on the beehiiv platform, which gets over 75 million monthly impressions as well as an expansive network of thousands of newsletters.
From Inverse Cramer’s perspective, beehiiv’s Ad Network is one of the best features on the platform.
beehiv’s Integration With Twitter
One of the main features of beehiiv, according to Inverse Cramer, is its ability to connect well with Twitter. The platform is a simple extension of one’s Twitter account since you can embed tweets directly into the newsletter. Plus, it’s super easy to capture email subscribers from tweets.
According to Inverse Cramer, “What was really huge was embedding the tweets within the newsletter. That saved me so much time. Instead of me going back and either trying to hard code the tweets in, or having to screenshot and paste them in, I could just go through my Twitter and embed them all into the newsletter so easily. Embedding the tweets was really helpful and saved me a bunch of time. The embedding was huge to get me going really fast.”
“And [my list] was under 5,000 subs. It was completely free to send them. That was huge too… I started plugging the newsletter underneath my trending tweets. And tweets that did really well, we would gain subscribers from that. My thought process was like, what's the fastest and easiest way I can collect emails and send to people? It was really easy. I think I captured probably two or 3000 emails instantly. And that was a huge way of the growth of the newsletter. I was capturing the emails—and beehiiv was pretty clear choice.”
Important: This feature no longer exists. Since this interview, Twitter has discontinued its newsletter integration capabilities.
Enjoying this acquisition case study? It’s one of many acquisition success stories from beehiiv customers. Just like Inverse Cramer, Milk Road launched and was acquired in under a year. The newsletter scaled to 250,000 subscribers and was acquired 10 months after launching on beehiiv. You can read the full case study here.
Looking ahead, the founder of Inverse Cramer may not have the newsletter anymore, but he plans to continue to carry on full force with his Inverse Cramer Twitter account.
He believes that the future is bright for anyone in the digital publishing space and that the value of digital assets shouldn’t be overlooked. For many creators, the effort put into content creation through digital platforms like email and social media can result in a big payday, as he experienced when Alts purchased the Inverse Cramer newsletter.
Inverse Cramer shared:
One year ago, the founder of Inverse Cramer launched his investment newsletter with a mission to take his business to the next level. With an acquisition in mind, he needed to use a newsletter platform that was both quick to set up and easy to use. But, most importantly, it needed to help him engage with his audience.
With beehiiv, he was able to gain 50%+ open rates, 7% click-through rates, great deliverability, and grow his list to 7,000 subscribers in under a year. Ultimately, investment company Alts saw the success of his newsletter and gave him an acquisition offer that he accepted in January 2023, one year after starting Inverse Cramer.
For creators looking to launch their own newsletter, or for those with newsletters thinking about switching to beehiiv, here’s what he had to say: “If they're looking, starting at zero from not collecting emails, not sending emails—absolutely use beehiiv. If you're already on a platform, from a cost savings, take a look at [beehiiv]. And now that the ad network just dropped, that's huge. Especially smaller newsletters that haven't broken into monetization, get under the platform. There are zero downsides from a monetization perspective.”
Are you thinking of starting a newsletter? Or, maybe you have a newsletter? If you’re looking for a platform you can leverage to create a recurring-revenue machine or receive a big payday through an acquisition like Inverse Cramer, then beehiiv can help you reach your goals.
In 2023, it’s never been easier to launch and scale a profitable newsletter business by leveraging an intuitive platform like beehiiv.
Try beehiiv for free today and make this your year.